One day, I overheard a conversation between a little girl and her aunt (or caregiver). The little girl told her aunt that someone she knew was African American and had "good hair."Her aunt (or caregiver) quickly shot her down saying all black people had bad hair (but used different words). She said they had "slave hair". I sat there thinking about the damage the lady had done to this little girl's (already jaded) thinking. Not only did the woman's statement add to the little girl's hair complex, but it also revealed the woman's self hate of natural Black or African hair and her own hair.
Every time I hear someone use the phrase "good hair," I'm taken back by it. I have to remind myself that even though there are many Black people that have grown to love our hair, there are many people that still have not gotten there yet. Many of these same people have passed this onto their children, just as the woman did to her niece. This leads little girls to associate "nappy" or "kinky hair" with bad hair. In the movie ,"Crooklyn" there is a scene in which Troy and her neighbors are sitting on the porch. Troy (whose hair is braided in cornrows) is ridiculed by her friends. However, one of the young girls turns to "Minnie" (Puerto Rican) who has long straight hair, and says "She has good hair". Another friend follows behind her saying," She has P-ter Rican hair."
The scenarios that I have talked about highlight the importance of instilling self love of their hair in our children. When I was a child, I remember the word "nappy" being an insult. No one wanted "nappy hair". There were few parents who had the time or desire to work through their child's kinks. This lead to parents hot combing or perming their child's hair too early. The perms often lead to breakage, which lead to unhappiness and low self esteem in the child. All of this could have been avoided if the parents would have taken the time to work through their child's kinks. I'm glad to know that we are making progress towards this movement.I have noticed that more parents have made the choice to loc their child's hair or leave their natural curls/kinks. That is definitely a good thing. Instead of little girls wishing for straight hair like Whoopi Goldberg in her stand up act,"My Luxurious Blonde Hair," they will accept and love their hair regardless of the texture or length. That is the "Nappy" truth :-)
Here is a reenactment by Canisius ALANA Troupe, of Goldberg's stand up act, "My Luxurious Blonde Hair.
*God is good.*